EA Is improving Star Wars: Battlefront II After Community Backlash

Actual footage of the EA offices over the past few months. (Image source: EA)

Could things be looking up for Battlefront II or has the time already passed for EA's flagship series?

To say EA has had a rocky road since the launch of Battlefront II would be an understatement. As I’ve outlined in a sister article to this one, the storm of anger surrounding the company’s handling of paid extra content for the multiplayer portion has only just been calmed. To do this, EA has completely revamped the way progression works – both in terms of how Heroes are treated and the way in which Star Cards can be unlocked – in an attempt rebuild the bridge with its disgruntled community, put off by the state of the game on release.

Even with this renewed effort on the part of EA, some players are still unimpressed by the gaming giant’s attempts at reconciliation. Whilst the changes are surely welcome to the game, the initial tactic on the part of EA to prize extra charges from the wallets of invested players has left many feeling cold.

In response to a forum post - made on the official Battlefront II boards claiming that EA’s incitement has been overblown from the start and that the “pay-to-win” elements of the game were only available pre-release - user Saditicrage76 wrote the following:

One of many measured responses on the official Battlefront II forums/ (Image source: EA)

This puts forward a sentiment mirrored throughout the rest of the thread: that EA should not simply be given a free pass now that a certain amount of time has passed since the games release, and after several conciliatory minor tweaks to the gameplay experience. This is a case of reframing a consumer argument: not simply at the quality of the game but at the character of a company willing to take advantage of a loving, committed fan base. Further down the thread, user RaNdOmKiLs666 encapsulates this feeling:

EA’s reputation is now the main source of discussion on the Battlefront II forums. (Image source: EA)

So, what is the company doing in the attempt to win back these players and improve Battlefront II’s overall experience? The newly released Update 2.0 – bringing with it a major overhaul to the games progression – also puts forward a number of minor tweaks to gameplay as well as new map additions including:

  • All new Heroes and Hero ships will be unlocked for free, meaning that players can pick and choose from a wide cast Star Wars favourites for immediate use on the galactic battlefield.
  • Bespin, a returning map from the original Battlefront title, will now be made available for play in the Jetpack Cargo, Blast and Heroes Vs. Villains modes.
  • Damage numbers and charge time for the Blast Cannon have been reduced for better balance and playability.
  • Various tweaks and fixes to several Hero characters, as well as map spawning tweaks for arenas across the galaxy.

The updated Bespin map, in all its shiny, pink glory. (Image source: EA)

The progression overhaul is certainly the most significant change for the game so far and the various tweaks outlined above are surely welcome but because of the amount of time between the games release and this update – which surely must have taken a significant amount of time on the part of the EA development team – it remains to be seen whether players will return to the game, especially after the announcement of the games less than galactic sales numbers.

With Season 2 of DLC hopefully around the corner, EA surely hopes to replicate the work of Ubisoft with its multiplayer titles, especially the likes of Rainbow Six Siege – which after a shaky start – has managed to not only maintain but grow its player base since launch, with committed updates and a strong community interaction. And whilst its strange to see such a major company stumble so extravagantly with the launch of a flagship title, its worth remembering that EA still moves from financial strength to strength in other areas. The company, for all its floors, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon.

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Born on the online battlefields long ago, Joe sought to climb his way to the top of any leaderboard, watching the occasional foreign film, writing,and giving his dog a big hug along the way.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Fifa 18
Top 3 Favorite Games:Bioshock Infinite, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Sid Meier's Civilization V
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